2012 Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World – What Would You Like To See?

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Here at Unofficial Guide World Headquarters (an undisclosed location somewhere between Madagascar and Bali – don’t even try to find us), we are gearing up for the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World – 2012. We know you’re still writing “What Will You Celebrate?” on your checks, but, yes, it’s actually that time again.

So, the question for you, dear readers is: what would you like to see in the next edition of the guide? Are there any subjects you would like more information on? Something that we haven’t covered in previous editions that needs some Unofficial Research? Whacky stunts that may or may not get us finally banned from Disney theme parks for good?

We make no promises. As you already know the Big Book is classified as a lethal weapon in many states due to its heft, so we do have to keep page count in mind. But even if we don’t get your great ideas in print, who knows – they may lead to a blog article or more online content here at TouringPlans.com.

Pitch your ideas in the comments section until February 28. And thanks for reading!

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Posted on February 10, 2011

71 Responses to “2012 Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World – What Would You Like To See?”

  • by Isabelle Boivin on February 10, 2011, at 8:02 am EDT

    Just change the cover picture ;)

  • by Anne Campbell on February 10, 2011, at 9:09 am EDT

    This wouldn’t fit in the WDW book, but what about an Unofficial Guide to the Disney Cruise Line?

  • You could use some more Hollywood Studios info. Really, is there such thing as too much Hollywood Studios info? I think not.

    • by Laurel Stewart on February 10, 2011, at 9:20 am EDT

      There’s actually an Unofficial Guide to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Matt. It’s 1500 pages long, and we keep it in the vault with our DVDs of Song of the South ;)

      • I enjoy matt’s website! And he has expert veggie food reviews (shameless plug!) I miss the days of being followed by disney security for the ug book!

    • I agree. Why are you combining it with Universal and reviewing it by comparing the two.

  • I agree with isabelle…. just PLEASE change the cover picture

  • More shopping info. It would be nice to brief descriptions of each shop in the pavillions of World Showcase.

  • Please change Marvin’s shirt :)

  • More info on the bars/lounges – Tambu Lounge, the bar attached to 50′s Prime Time Cafe, etc. These are great places that I would love to more about. Keep up the good work!

  • DHS really needs its own chapter. Lumping it in with the Universal parks just makes info harder to find. Sure, Hollywood Studios and Universal Studios are thematically similar, but so are Space Mountain and Mission Space, and you’d never think to put them in the same chapter.

  • DHS does deserve its own chapter. And could you add a few hidden secrets (ex. the “Tink” release in her shop first thing in the am and where she hides in the shop during the day.)? I bought a separate book for that. I felt like I was cheating on you guys!!!!

  • I would like more in depth reviews of table service restaurants. I know the book is already huge, but this would be nice. Maybe just put it in the WDW for adults book?

  • I would like additional research into the process of how people with food allergies contact Disney, specific contact information for those departments, and tips (do’s and don’ts) from people who have gone through this process.

    It’d also be great to have additional info on travel options to WDW if one is flying into Tampa, St. Pete or Sanford airports instead of MCO. A lot of smaller cities (primarily in the midwest and northeast) use Allegient, which doesn’t go to MCO.

    • by Laurel Stewart on February 10, 2011, at 3:23 pm EDT

      Brian, did you read JL’s post about her dining experience at DHS (http://blog.touringplans.com/2010/11/27/a-dining-story-part-1/)?

      • I did read JL’s experience. I not only found it helpful, but it also connected with my own experience of working with Disney folks for my wife’s gluten allergy. However, as wonderful as Disney is to work with, it still took a lot of time to learn their process, process their forms and get their forms to the right people.

        I know that Disney changes their protocols all of the time, but for others who think a Disney vacation is out of the question due to food allergies, it would be useful information to learn that not only is Disney one of the most food allergy friendly places, but also to sketch out the process for ‘newbies.’

  • by Laurel Stewart on February 10, 2011, at 12:16 pm EDT

    Fantastic stuff, keep it coming!

  • I agree with James and Hochberg (even if he is a little biased ^_-). Give DHS it’s own section! This has been my number 1 problem with the UG for years.

    … and I wouldn’t say no to a cover photo more representative of WDW either. ;)

  • A handy cheat sheet for how to navigate the resort World. Wilderness Lodge to Contemporary? Animal Kingdom to Typhoon Lagoon? Ft. Wilderness to Boardwalk? Pop Century to Beach Club? And time that it’ll take to get there for a breakfast or dinner reservation.

    • I like this idea! I’ve been trying to plan our vacation with our meal reservations and have been wondering how we will get from place to place and how long it will take us.

  • Agree with the suggestions so far around the cover and DHS, and particuarly about infos on bars and lounges.

    However my request is crowd info for Universal and Islands on the touring plans site (yes I know that wasn’t the question); and in the book more detailed transportation info around what time the coaches start running each day from the resorts so we can plan how to get to early dining reservations at other resorts.

  • Hey Kim, great minds think alike at exactly the same time!

  • A iPad version that is searchable.

  • Make an ebook version of the book! I would buy it in a heartbeat! I love reading the book at various times so it would be nice to not have to lug around that large book.

    Any plans for a digital version?

  • I agree very strongly that Universal needs it’s own chapter. Merging it with the Disney Studios made sense back when Universal first opened and the two parks were more directly in competition with each-other, but Universal has expanded and become more diverse since then. By virtue of having The Wizarding World of Harry Potter alone, Universal needs it’s own chapter. And it was mentioned in the book before, but maybe Sea World (and perhaps Busch Gardens) deserves more than a paragraph or two. I like reading about the rides in depth and just having the ratings doesn’t cut it.

    Also, I really love the reader comments. Maybe keep the classics (like the “vacation from hell” one that opens “WDW with kids”) and rotate in new ones? I like seeing what people think of new attractions, restaurants, ect.

    And yes, definitely new cover photo. Maybe something that teases Fantasyland Reloaded Legacy?

  • In the new chapter about universal, I could really use more detailed info about the onsite hotels. We really rely on your comments about best room locations, readers reports, etc. at the Disney hotels. The same advice would be very nice for the three at
    the studios. We found out the hard way that early to bed people (due to a toddler) should avoid luau adjacent rooms at the Royal Pacific!

  • 1) I love the Plans. But the most frustrating part is, you can’t ever tell if you are on schedule, ahead of schedule or behind. If you could add phrases such as “if you arrived at RD, you should be at this step by approximately 2 hours later” spread out every few steps. There is a big difference from a park open 9-8 and 9-midnight to catch up if you get behind.
    2) DHS should have its own chapter
    3) I would love a chapter designed much like the sections in parks that describe attractions that has all of the don’t miss or fun things to see/do outside the parks. For example, one place that listed the campfire, bike rentals, Floating pageant, carriage rides, lawn mower tree, etc. of interesting things to see / do at various resorts, etc. Kind of the top highlights of touring the resorts and property outside of the parks where you could spend a day sightseeing on property and knowing what the Don’t Miss things are at each place. Even better, a one day touring plan that covered seeing these things, in what order, and via what kind of transportation (mixing and matching monorails, ferrys, boats, etc.). Would be really awesome!

  • I would like to see more Downtown Disney Restaurant profiles

  • How about more information/details about special events, such as Christmas (MVMCP, Candlelight Processional, Holidays Around the World, etc.) Halloween, Food & Wine, Flower & Garden, Star Wars Weekends…

  • What about a section on photography? Something that covers the standard shots, fun shots, special effects, unusual/hidden perspectives, tips on fun ride shots, etc. Tom Bricker would be a great contributor on this subject.

    As for the cover, Tom posted a shot of he and his wife looking at the UG on Main Street awhile ago that would be great for the cover. There was even chatter about that on the post.

    You know, really anything would be an improvement over Primeval Whirl! Last year Marvin got a new shirt, but it might as well have been the same one.

  • I would like IOA touring plans on the website and more info in general on touring that park. Maybe with WWOHP having been operational for a year when 2012 is published you will have a better idea of what day to day operations look like there. I feel now like I really have to search the disboards for the latest info on that park.

  • A 1-day, 2-park touring plan for Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure.
    Please keep the guides in the back that give a rough estimate of waiting times and Fastpass return times for each attraction throughout the day.

  • The Disney info is already great. There is only so much room for improvement there. If you spend more time on Universal Orlando, a huge improvement could be made. Your Universal Orlando section (in the Disney book and Beyond Disney) gives touring plans a bad name and your competitors have far better books. Sorry, but it’s true. Your biases against it are blatant and your readers suffer because of it. It is not just a lacking of one part or another, it is an across-the-board lack of passion for it. Where are the interesting stories or the fun little details that people may miss? Everyone knows Universal is not Disney, but it’s pretty darn cool and people are going to keep going there. It has clearly been lengthened because of Potter Land, but there could be so much more. What about dining? Many people think (see page 339 of Beyond Disney) the in-park food is better than most Disney eateries and there are to-go bars for goodness sake. Is that mentioned anywhere? Put someone that loves Universal in charge of that project, include crowd data/calendars and why not put it online and hook it up with LINES?

  • Honestly, I don’t know why Universal/SeaWorld etc, are even in the Disney book. I wouldn’t mind if they were deleted from it, and made into a seperate book. I think there is enough info for an “Orlando Beyond Disney” book or something.

  • An ebook version, please!

  • Agree with John – I’d like to see the non-Disney theme parks receive their own book. With the freed extra pages you could devote more to the cruise lines or the parks. And, I’d love to see updated user comments, some of those quotes are fairly old and some have lost their relevancy.

    • Beyond Disney is a pretty good guide book on every theme park, attractions, and things to do in Central Florida minus the Mouse House. Years ago, this was a pretty weak and useless guidebook with little overviews of some of the area attractions. Now, it is full of useful information, including lodging and ratings. Excellent sections on Universal Orlando, Busch Gardens, and Sea World, as well as the hidden thrills along International Drive and Orlando’s surroundings.

  • I would like a little more detail on resorts and maybe a few pictures.

  • I’d love to see a version in e-book format.

  • Reading all these suggestion, I hope you guys know we still love the book. Best WDW guide there is…the chance of making it even better is just too good to pass up 8:o)

  • Agreed, DHS needs it’s own section. On the touring plans themselves, I don’t think that the pathways and possible short cuts are clear enough.I found that the pathways just weren’t clear enough in trying to navigate. A separate posting of maps of each park as to where the best sights are to watch parades, & ideas of when to stake out your place or special things like the bands that appear periodically in the MK.With the outdoor Mexican Restruant change where is/are the best places to watch Illuninations. For years I staked out a place at the Cantina del San Angelo. Thanks!

  • Hopefully when you do the Kindle/ebook version you will link all around the book to other sections. If you were reading about Epcot touring plans and a step talks about getting lunch, link to the ratings for the quick service locations.

  • In going to WDW what I would like to see is:
    1. How to prepare to be on your feet for 12 hours for a week. I find personally and the people that I travel with, by the end of the first day our feet are sore and aching. Even though the idea of being at Disney is wonderful, the pain in our feet is intimidating. When we go, a typical vacation is a straight week at Disney, and not a day trip. I would just like a small section on what people do to prepare. And possible how to address foot related injuries or prevention methods.

    2. Meltdowns. I would like to see some emphasis on potential meltdown of kids as well as the parents/guardians they are with. By mid-afternoon the sleeping kids ins strollers or parents arms is cute, but the screaming kids with temper tantrums in the middle of the park is not adorable. Then the parents become the fun-nazi (kind of like the soup-nazi from Seinfeld), and make the kids march on to the next attraction. By mid-week seeing the same family at different parks having the same struggle is painful to watch. I know being spontaneous is important, and going back to where you are staying my not be easy, but it is important to plan to have time where the kids nap (maybe a show) or just a break from the stimulation.

    3. Stroller Derby. I would like mention the danger of parents not paying attention to what they are doing with a stroller, particularly the hard plastic ones provided by Disner. I know there is a ton to look at and the excitement of pointing things out is everywhere. But I have seen and have been run over by parents just not paying attention. Obviously this is more of a concern on busy days (right before Christmas), but it leads to my concern of number 1, feet related injuries. Please WATCH OUT!. Thank you.

    I love going to WDW, and want it to be enjoyable to everyone when they go. The time and money invested to going, I think forces some people to cram in as much of them can to get the value. But the value is in the memories created, not necessarily in the number of attractions seen (but the touring plans does make this achievable :)).

    • EL, I am almost certain that the big UG book has a section on conditioning/ walking in the time leading up to your trip to prepare for the long days on your feet. They also suggest going to a nearby theme park with your family to get an idea of how each person responds to a theme park encironment, to assess compatibility, and to identify possible challenges to prepare for for each family member.

      Also, I seem to recall a section on moleskin, “hot spots,” and shoe types/ breaking them in.

      There is definitely a section on child behavior, written by a specialist.

      I hope this helps!

  • by Andrea Fields on February 25, 2011, at 9:25 am EDT

    A Kindle version. Pretty please?!?!

  • I echo all of the others about having a Kindle version of the book. I would buy it in a minute. The other suggestion I would make is to include comments about the ability of larger-sized guests on the rides and the attractions. You make a point of discussing it for the Harry Potter ride but don’t really discuss it too much elsewhere.

  • Please add more details about the weather and what to pack in cooler weather would also be nice. Also, more details about shopping outside of Disney too.

  • This ain’t gonna make it in 2012 (and maybe it just belongs in the Beyond Disney book) but I would like more dining information on Universal Studios parks including Counter-Service. Right now there is some base info on the full-service in the Beyond Disney book but no quick-service dining information.

  • I’m ready for it to be out! I preordered on amazon!

    • oh yeah does anyone know if the 2012 unofficial guide will give a discount to touringplans.com subscription? And what kind of discount?

      • by Laurel Stewart on August 21, 2011, at 7:15 pm EDT

        We will give the same discount that we do for the 2011 guide – 35% If you can’t wait for your book to arrive, email your Amazon (or other online retailer’s) receipt to webmaster@touringplans.com for a discount code to use to start your subscription early.

  • Please update the comments about getting to Mickey’s Backyard Barbecue (2011 edition pg 777).You say it’s not as difficult as getting to the Hoop-Dee-Do revue when it is behind Pioneer Hall and even farther away to walk from the transportation.( which is the same for either one.)

  • How about a section of the differences/updates between years? If you have already read the 2011 version this is what we have taken out and/or put in different this year and why.

  • Is there a blog regarding what we would love to see in 2014′s Unofficial Guide to WDW?

    • by Laurel Stewart on May 13, 2013, at 11:44 am EDT

      We’re well into writing the book as we speak. We’ve taken into account our year of research, reader comments, and the many things that Disney has in the works and implemented since the last one. We’re very excited about the 2014 Guide – lots of new content in the upcoming edition.